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Talk Social: 13 June, 2017

Apple finds a new home


Apple has taken a while to enter the home assistant market, despite every iPhone user having Siri in their pockets. But they have finally unveiled HomePod as its gadget to take on the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices.

Much like other home assistants, the Siri-powered HomePod will accept basic instructions and assist in finding news headlines, music, translations, traffic, weather and calendar info.

Linking with other kit, it can also control home devices such as the home thermostat.

HomePod will launch in December, with a price tag of under £300.

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More cash coming to Facebook in an Instant


Facebook is not giving up on its Instant Articles format, which gives readers immediate content from top publishers without them having to leave the social network first.

The lack of monetisation for the format has been holding it back up until now, with major publishers such as The Guardian and New York Times both removing its content due to a lack of funding.

However, Facebook is taking steps to address this with the addition of more ad placements within Instant Articles stories. More than 10,000 publishers use it and more than $1million is paid out in advertising revenues daily to these publishers.

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Amazon’s famous AI breakthrough


Every week, it seems there is another story on the development of artificial intelligence – the latest comes from Amazon.

The company’s AI development project called Rekognition has just got a bit smarter. It is now able to recognise thousands of celebrities across fields as diverse as sport, films, politics and business.

It can also detect emotion and mood from the features of the face, opening up new possibilities to developers seeking the most personalised answer to user queries at a specific moment in time.

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WhatsApp puts new features in focus


If the camera is, indeed, the new keyboard for smartphone users, then WhatsApp is continuing to position itself as an essential tool of the modern age.

The social messaging app has added new filters, allowing users to edit their images and add cool effects before sending. In addition, the app will group anything over four photos being sent into an album for ease and there are also new shortcuts to replying to received messages simply by swiping on it.

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Binky is the ultimate pointless app


If you have ever questioned the purpose of social media, then you’re not alone – now a new app is positioning itself as the ultimate anti-social media.

Binky acts just like a regular social network, you make friends, you add people, you can share, like and comment on posts.

The twist is, nothing you do makes it out into the outside world. It’s all futile. So rather than chasing likes or engagement, the user is left to question the point of it all.

It’s the kind of deep, yet shallow, question that seems perfect for this age that we live in and Binky is available to download from the Apple App Store.

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